In May 2014 I helped to form MSK Data Products, a multidisciplinary product development team within a conservative academic medical center in NYC.

Since that time I've worked to lead both strategic, institutional product considerations as well technical, user-centric design initiatives as both an independent contributor and manager. As our team evolved from a scrappy squad of 3 into a robust team of 20, my focus has shifted away from pixel-perfect concerns and towards the emerging discipline of Design Operations; the work around the work.

The stories and work below are a brief archive of some of my hunches, process experiments, discarded prototypes, and ongoing efforts as I continue to work within Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to bridge their vast repository of patient data and clinical expertise with the general public's evolving expectations of machine intelligence.

Shift, 2016

Shift is a concept I developed for a digital therapeutic tool that attempts to answer the question "How might MSK's business model adapt to the scale of the internet?"

For 3 months during the beginning of my time working remotely in Los Angeles, I challenged myself to learn how my skills and perspective as someone who identifies as at High Risk for cancer may lend themselves to challenging MSK's "post-diagnosis" care delivery.

MSK has always been a post-diagnosis institution. It considers “intervention” to be possible only after someone has become aware of a cancer within their body. This hypothetical product puts MSK’s definition of “intervention” into question and proposes a new, more proactive institutional perspective on cancer prevention.

Role: Research, Concept, UI, FrontEnd

Medium post

Darwin Digital Platform, 2016-Present

The vast majority of my time and energy while with MSK has been spent conceptualizing, architecting, and building what is now known as "MSK Darwin Digital Platform," a lightweight web application that sits on top of our EMR, aggregating clinically-essential data on our patient population from previously siloed databases and ultimately rendering a UX that our community loves.

Furthermore, "DDP" provides MSK with its first opportunity to deliver machine learning tools such as our "Patient Matching" feature at an institutional scale, enabling and encouraging other teams within MSK to embed their own useful tools into our platform.

The images below illustrate the breadth of my involvement with DDP: from 30,000 ft diagrams designed to influence our senior leadership to CodePen prototypes of specific, data-rich problem spaces and everything in between.

Role: Research, Concept, Prototypes, UI

See the Pen PRO Hover Test: Monochrome by Bobby Genalo (@bobbygenalo) on CodePen.

Galapagos Design System, 2017 - Present

About a year into leading design for "DDP" I found myself beleagured with questions that all shared a common thread: we need something akin to an API for design truth. It dawned on me that I was so preoccupied with delivering quickly that I hadn't given myself time to pause and reflect on how to deliver wisely.

In the middle of 2017 I took a couple of weeks to research and meet with other engineering-heavy teams in non-healthcare settings. The clearest example of how I could not only improve my team's handshake with our engineers but also utilize my love of front-end coding was found in Design Systems.

By this point my team and I had already begun a UI inventory within our Sketch libraries and, over the course of 2 months, we stood up a vanilla version (HTML/CSS only) of the Galapagos Design System; a Jekyll-built documentation site with admittedly simplistic utility but more than enough to encourage my team (and institution) that we were beginning to see the forest for the trees.

After about 6 months of demonstrating its value to our team and others, I onboarded a Design Technologist who is focused solely on a React-based version of Galapagos.

Role: Research, Pitch, Prototypes, UI, Management

Design Ops, 2017 - Present

Over the course of nearly 5 years I've evolved from someone eager to impress through my skills as an individual contributor into one absolutely obsessed with cultivating a healthy and inspiring environment conducive to everyone's best creative output.

Just as Galapagos continues help smooth out our team's design-engineering handshake, it became abundantly evident in 2017 that the way in which our team learns from our clinical community at MSK required a rethink. This focus on UX Research complemented my still nascent notions of how a Lead Designer could contribute value, despite often being 3,000 miles away.

After a small amount of digging, I learned that some of the most productive research teams in tech were utilizing Airtable to document their findings, enabling them to transform what they hear into data objects that can then be moved, assigned, and combined with others to inform the team's roadmap and overall perspective on their user base.

Beyond tooling and creating process maps / checklists, I invited Steve Portigal, an author and speaker I had met at a DesignOps conference in 2018, to visit our team and share best practices as they may relate to a medium-sized engineering team. He worked with us to reveal a research cadence and framework that could enable most of our colleagues to attend research studies, learn directly from their users, and become proactive when discussing where opportunities exist.

Role: Research, Pitch, Management

Clinical Trials Search, 2014 - 2015

When MSK Data Products was first taking off, our biggest mandate from the institution was to help identify suitable clinical trials (AKA protocols) for our patient population in an effort to amplify accruement. Clinical trials offer the most advanced care available beyond today's "standard of care."

My colleagues and I began this work by meeting with and asking questions of both medical oncologists and their clinical support staff (typically research nurses) to learn about their current frustrations surrounding enrolling patients onto these protocols.

One of the clearest takeaways was that information was siloed across MSK's services (i.e. Breast Medicine, Lymphoma, etc); each service conducts their own clinical trials and often only evaluates whether a patient is eligible for trials that they're aware of.

We prepared prototypes for a Clinical Trial Search Engine which would allow anyone at MSK to describe either a clinical trial or patient using whatever vocabulary made sense to them. We wanted to encourage our community to treat this search engine like Google; an intelligent machine that served up both anticipated results as well as useful, previously unknown results as well.

Our work on CTS inspired what is now the Darwin Digital Platform, allowing our clinical and research staff to effortlessly access, categorize, compare and share MSK's wealth of patient and clinical trial data.

Role: UX Research, Pitch, UI/UX